val·​e·​dic·​to·​ri·​an | \ ˌva-lə-ˌdik-ˈtȯr-ē-ən How to pronounce valedictorian (audio) \

Definition of valedictorian

: the student usually having the highest rank in a graduating class who delivers the valedictory address at the commencement exercises

Examples of valedictorian in a Sentence

She was the valedictorian of her class in 1985.
Recent Examples on the Web Or that Stacey Abrams, the valedictorian of her high school in 1991, was denied the honor of meeting then Georgia governor Zell Miller because a bigoted cop refused to let her into the governor’s mansion? John Loftus, National Review, "Stacey Abrams’s Delusions of Grandeur," 12 Sep. 2020 Anna Nyakana of New Britain, a children’s book author, will speak as the valedictorian of the 100 Women of Color Class of 2020. Susan Dunne,, "‘Strength is our motto’ for 5th annual 100 Women of Color Gala," 27 Aug. 2020 Anthony Milian Cintron is valedictorian of Veterans Memorial High School. Anthony Milian Cintron,, "What we lost pales in comparison to what we have to gain," 10 June 2020 United States Nicholas Johnson was named Princeton’s valedictorian for the class of 2020, making him the first black student to earn the title in the university’s 274 years. Lindsey Mcginnis, The Christian Science Monitor, "Points of Progress: Conservation projects bear fruit, and more," 29 May 2020 In the video above, Johnson speaks with Couric about how Princeton’s historical ties to slavery shaped his feelings about being named valedictorian. Mahita Gajanan, Time, "'Have Faith.' Princeton's First Black Valedictorian On Graduating Into a Global Pandemic," 28 May 2020 The class of 2020 valedictorian was looking forward to her senior year activities these past few months before Tomball ISD and other area districts closed schools in March. Alvaro Montano, Houston Chronicle, "Tomball Memorial High School valedictorian Kareena Pal Sharma makes best of senior year," 23 May 2020 Three Greendale High School students, Ellie Roder, Matthew Stilling and Mason Kaddatz, are valedictorians this year. Alec Johnson,, "The uncertainty of graduation ceremonies leaves seniors, especially valedictorians, anxious and upset," 19 May 2020 Congratulations on becoming valedictorian—and making history. NBC News, "Montreal student named first black valedictorian of Princeton," 12 May 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'valedictorian.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of valedictorian

1759, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for valedictorian

valedictor(y) + -ian

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Time Traveler for valedictorian

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The first known use of valedictorian was in 1759

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Last Updated

17 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Valedictorian.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for valedictorian


How to pronounce valedictorian (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of valedictorian

US : the student who has the highest grades in a graduating class and who gives a speech at graduation ceremonies


val·​e·​dic·​to·​ri·​an | \ ˌva-lə-ˌdik-ˈtȯr-ē-ən How to pronounce valedictorian (audio) \

Kids Definition of valedictorian

: a student usually of the highest standing in a class who gives the farewell speech at the graduation ceremonies

More from Merriam-Webster on valedictorian

Nglish: Translation of valedictorian for Spanish Speakers

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